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Spaghetti with Spicy Red Pepper & Garlic Clam Sauce

Delicious, spicy red pepper and clam spaghetti, great for a summer pasta dish!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main
Servings: 4
Author: Kristi


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 - 10 garlic cloves coarsely chopped (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes see note
  • 1 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes, undrained with juice
  • 1 10 ounce can Fancy Whole Baby Clams, drained, reserve, and set aside
  • 1 6.5 ounce can chopped clams, drained, reserve, and set aside
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 6 slices bacon cooked and coarsely chopped
  • 5 basil leaves julienned
  • 2 tablespoons green onion chopped


  • Cook spaghetti per the package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, then drain the remaining water, setting pasta aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat oil on medium-high until hot. Turn heat down to medium and add garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes, cooking until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in tomatoes (undrained) and the reserved clam juice. Bring to a simmer and cook until sauce is slightly thickened, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to low.
  • Stir in clams, bacon, basil and capers and cook until heated through. Add 1/2 to 1 cup of reserved pasta water and pasta to the sauce. Cook over low heat, tossing pasta with the sauce until the pasta has absorbed some of the sauce and is well coated, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Divide among 4 bowls, top with green onions and serve.


This recipe calls for 4-10 garlic cloves. Garlic clove size varies drastically (from giant to very small), so coarsely chop your garlic to taste. In this recipe, I used 9 garlic cloves (but remember, we're an Italian family and garlic is a staple!) and we used a mix of large, medium and small garlic cloves, which essentially came out to roughly 2 tablespoons.
Also, (need I mention the Italian thing again?), we love spicy, so we use 2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes, which will leave this spicy dish 'sitting' on your tongue - which we love. You may not, so please spice as you prefer!